Blog: Dave LeggettToyota Prius: both 'normal' and 'special'

Dave Leggett | 28 April 2003

Toyota's European head of sales, Thierry Dombreval, certainly set out an ambitious marketing strategy for the next generation Toyota Prius in an exclusive interview with my colleague Graeme Roberts at the Prius 'static' launch for Europe last week. It will be both 'normal' and 'special'. By normal he means that it can be pitched at the average D-segment buyer on the criteria that governs success in that segment. The 'special' element is the car's environmental appeal. Will that work? Appealing to the 'normal' buyers in Europe - who tend to be quite conservative in taste - won't be easy, although the car looks to be a better basic design proposition than its predecessor. As Mr Roberts points out in this article, the new design looks very Japanese, unlike the European-designed Avensis. Dombreval says the number one step is to promote the fact that Prius is simply a 'great car' (in terms of design, roadholding and NVH - rather than its powertrain). Could it really become a mainstream hit?


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